One of the primary differences between traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine is not necessarily the methods of treatment, although they do vary significantly, but the philosophy from which the methods are derived. For over 2,000 years, Chinese medicine based its practice upon the belief that the body, mind, and spirit are all connected and that treatment of symptoms should not be isolated to one particular area, but that all aspects of health should be explored in order to promote and restore optimal health. Teresa Baltzell, physician of Chinese internal medicine and orthomolecular medicine at Happy Mountain Holistic Health, located at Five Elements in Rutland, shares with us her inspiring journey and expertise on the subject.
Mountain Times: In your own words, define “Chinese” or “Eastern Medicine.”
Teresa Baltzell: Chinese medicine is safe, effective and painless with no known side effects. It is the oldest, fastest growing segment of medicine and used by more people worldwide than any other form of medicine. The U.S. Army, Air Force, Marines and VA hospitals use acupuncture. Many states have mandatory treatment programs for DUI. Every major hospital and medical school uses and teaches acupuncture. Renowned for releasing pain, it is also highly effective in treating complex and chronic conditions. All changes in health first begin as a physiological functional change in the cell blueprint long before there is a change in blood or tissue. Acupuncture works so well because it restores the blueprint’s integrity. Here are the key principles or core concepts.
Health is your body’s natural state.
Chinese medicine does not treat disease–it removes what prevents health from occurring.
The inferior doctor treats disease, the good doctor treats health, the superior doctor treats the spirit.
The body has an innate intelligence to heal itself.
Disease, as viewed from this model, is seen as the absence of health we focus on the awakening of health rather than the interference in the disease process.
MT: What made you gravitate toward this approach with your own health as well as your clients?
TB: Early in my life I witnessed family members and loved one lose life quality and die because they believed a prescription pill would cure them. When someone has pain, chronic illness or side effects from medication, they and their loved ones are suffering. My mission statement is to cure the incurable and end the suffering for everyone that knows me. Our greatest wealth is our health. I take no chemical or pharmacological medication of any type and enjoy excellent health and happiness.
MT: What improvements have you witnessed?
TB: I know this may sound like an exaggeration, but I witnessed patients blinded by macular degeneration regain their sight, others with hearing aids restore their hearing, and multiple patients come to the clinic in wheelchairs and walk out. Releasing all types of pain is actually the easiest condition to work with. Vets and plane crash survivors with PTSD get their life back. Acupuncture can heal any condition except a wilted flower, meaning if there is enough vitality the body will heal.
MT: Why, as a society, have we yet to adopt this type of medicine as a first-line approach versus the current use of “band-aid” strategies?
TB: I have witnessed so many “miracles” I often ask what prevents one from using something so healing as acupuncture. I believe our choices are governed by the experiences we need to learn from. So if one chooses to suffer then there is an unlearned lesson in the experience. Also someone usually fears the unknown more than the known.
MT: What do you find most fascinating and most rewarding in your practice?
TB: Every day we learn about ourselves, medicine and life from our patients. I love my patients and work. I deeply appreciate the opportunity to witness others heal, get their life back and be happy. One of my favorite quotes is from Dr. Sean Marshall:
“Health is the natural state of the body
Wisdom is the natural state of the mind
Happiness is the natural state of the spirit
Day comes and the sun rises all by itself.”